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Romney 23, Us 9, Paul Ryan 6, Obama 5, America 5, Jonathan 5, Steve 4, Barack Obama 4, Garth 4, Pennsylvania 4, Afghanistan 4, Washington 4, U.s. 4, New York 3, Karen 3, Rick Tyler 3, Purina 3, Pentagon 3, Alex 3, United States 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    September 11, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00am PDT  

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organization. he said we are completely shocked. it's unbelievable. we completely condemn this very dangerous attack and i convey my condolences to the american people, to the american president, and to the american administration. not only in my name but on behalf of the palestinian people. >> and this comes on a day, katie in, which, obviously, there's been a steady deterioration of the situation in the middle east, but shimon perez was to meet today with yasser arafat in the west bank. there has been criticism of the bush administration for not getting more involved in the peace making efforts in the middle east in the past few weeks from within the republican party as well. >> because it has gotten increasingly volatile. >> there's been a steady escalation of violence, incursions by israelis and the palestinian towns and declaring martial law and pulling back and everyone thought that the -- that the bomb was ticking in the middle east.
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no one expected anything of these kinds of consequences to be visited upon this country in this horrific way we have been witness to today. it is one more example we have been saying this morning of events in far off places that have an enormous impact here because the united states is in the eyes of so many people who are opposed to our system of government and our alliances, the devil incarnate and today this is a very sophisticated, cold blooded, widespread attack carried out with the most chilling kind of efficiency on several of the great nerve centers of our system of government and our way of life. >> you've been watching an msnbc living history event, 9/11 as it happened. good day. i'm chris jansing. at ground zero are the footprints of the twin towers that once stood tall. this morning hundreds of relatives of the more than 2,700 people killed at ground zero are
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gathered along with police and firefighters, to hear the annual reading of the names of the fallen. on this 11th anniversary of the attacks, only family members, not politicians, appeared at the podium to read those names. at the white house, the president and first lady observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane struck the world trade center. that was followed by a wreath ceremony at the pentagon where 184 more lives were lost. the president emphasizing the resiliency of the nation. >> there's no better way to honor the best in those who died than by discovering the best in ourselves. this anniversary allows us to renew our faith that even the darkest night gives way to a brighter dawn. today we can come here to the pentagon and touch these names and kneel beside a building
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where a single stone still bears the scars of that fire. we can visit the field of honor in pennsylvania and remember the heros who made it sacred. we can see water cascading into the footprints of the twin towers. and gaze up as new tower rising above the new york skyline. even though we may never be able to fully lift the burden carried by those left behind, we know that somewhere, a son is growing up with his father's eyes and a daughter has her mother's laugh, living reminders that those who died are with us still. so as painful as this day is and always will be, it leaves us with a lesson that no single event can ever destroy who we are. no act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for. instead, we recommit ourselves to the values that we believe
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in, holding firmly without wavering to the hope that we confess. >> vice president joe biden delivered an emotional address in shanksville, pennsylvania, to honor the 40 victims who died taking on the flight 93 hijackers. members of congress also held a remembrance ceremony on the front steps of the capitol. nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the attacks. at ground zero the tribute in light returns at sun down and our coverage picks up now with alex wagner. >> 11 years after the worst terrorist attack on american soil, the country remembers the events of that morning and the lives lost. a turning point in u.s. history, the intervening years have been a testament to the deepness of the wounds inflicted that day. war is not yet finished and an american public grappling with
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questions of citizenship identity and national unity. tuesday, september 11th, and this is now. joining me today new york times columnist frank bruneny, msnbc political analyst and former dnc communications chair karen phinney, msnbc contributor jonathan capehart of the "washington post" and co-host of msnbc's "the cycle" steve kornacki of salon.com. catastrophic events changed the nation. this morning, president obama visited the memorial at the pentagon to speak about the legacy of september 11th. >> 11 years ago memorial services were held for americans of different races and creeds, backgrounds and beliefs, and yet, instead of turning us against each other, tragedy has brought us together. i've always said that our fight is with al qaeda and its affiliates, not with islam or any other religion. this country was built as a beacon of freedom and tolerance. that's what's made us strong.
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now, and forever. when the history books are written, the true legacy of 9/11 will not be one of fear or hate or division. it will be a safer world, a stronger nation, and a people more united than ever before. >> today, yards away from where the trade cen once stood the freedom tower is nearly complete. its importance has far less to do with architecture than symbolism. proof that a city and country can rebuild and return to the heights it once conquered. speaking in shanksville, pennsylvania, vice president biden reminded the nation as we move forward we do so remembering the past. >> for no matter how many anniversaries you experience, for at least an instant, the terror of that moment returns. the lingering echo of that phone
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call. that sense of total disbelief that envelopes you. you feel like you're being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest. my hope, i hope for you all is, that as every year passes, the depth of your pain recedes. >> jonathan capehart, you know, seeing the president address the country and the vice president address the country, it never fails to stop me in my tracks when we see the footage of what happened on this day 11 years ago. the issue, the concerns, the contention that we are more united than we have been, that we are stronger than we have been, i guess i have batted around the idea of national unity, especially on the heels of what has been a divisive political race and wonder what you make of what the president said regarding national unity? >> i think it's a -- still a utopian vision. i mean, i can't quite get there with the president on that
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notion. these last 11 years have been really tough for this country. really tough for muslim-americans, arab-americans, really tough for people who appear to be different, and tough for americans in general in terms of the freedoms that we've had to give up in order to be safe. really tough for travelers, really tough for consumers, really tough for people who just want to live their lives with dignity and respect and can't because of some mad man who decided to wreak terror on new york and washington and a field in pennsylvania. >> and certainly, i mean, september 11th is one thing, but also the economic downturn has done a great deal in terms of separating americans or at least the narrative of us versus them. >> sure. absolutely. i agree with jonathan. i think we're still struggling with, we felt a sense of unity,
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that day, that week, in new york city, you would see people on the street if they were having a tough day, people would reach out to each other and say are you all right. it with you a beautiful moment. i hope we can get back there. it felt like after that we sort of were ripped apart even worse frankly than before. the other thing, think about there are generations of young people who their whole world view was completely changed on that day. i worked in education at the time, little kids used to be able to tell uptown, downtown by the twin towers and we found after the twin towers were down, it disoriented them. that's a small thing. but think about the generations of young people who went into the military, went to serve in iraq and afghanistan or kids who were younger than that and that was maybe their first moment of really understanding america as the place in the world. i think we don't yet know how this has affected us because as these generations grow, we'll learn from them how it's affected them. >> and frank, as a new yorker,
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the changing sort of signifier that is 9/11, today president obama and governor romney are suspending their campaign ads, tipping their hats to national unity. when i found that out, i thought, it's such a weird acknowledgement that this stuff is really bad for the country, we're not going to do it today, but september 12th turn on your television and catch thus. in 2008, john mccain and president obama appeared together to mark the day. you don't imagine such a thing happening today. >> we're so polarized now and the farther away we get away from 9/11, the more we forget. things we should all be concerned about. you think they'll suspend it for a day, tomorrow back to full throttle warfare and i don't think we have learned or really kind of carried forward with the lessons of that day, which there is a lot more as a country regardless of party we should be concerned about than fighting over. >> as far as the legacy of 9/11 in terms of the war, the wars
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iraq and, of course, afghanistan, we'll be talking more in the show about, you know, how we collectively think about those wars or don't think about them and the sacrifices americans have made in terms of as jonathan said civil liberties. in terms of a point of discussion, intervening years, while still at battle the national discussion around the legacy of 9/11 is almost silent. >> the national legacy represented by the afghanistan war, we still have tens of thousands of troops over there and we're now going through this whole thing where it didn't come up at mitt romney's speech at the convention and why is this. without getting into the blame game there, it does speaks to the factust receded from the radar and the other thing i was thinking of, listening to karen and jonathan, it's not just the kids who came of age during 9/11, somebody who's 15 years old today doesn't remember 9/11. they were 4 years old when that happened. and you think of all the the changes that, you know, have taken place in society, since 9/11, that, you know, we can remember before and now and say wow, things are different when
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you travel or whatever, there's a whole generation coming up now that's never known anything except the post-9/11 world and may not even think to say do things have to be this way. >> the post-9/11 world setting aside the events of september 11th in terms of america's place in the world, economic downturn and technology, it's been an incredibly disjunctive shifting decade, actually, and in terms of making sense of all that, it is, indeed, difficult. we will return after the break to discuss the september 11th attacks and how they led to sweeping national security changes that altered the balance between public safety and personal liberty and assess some of those policies when the director of the aclu's national security project joins our panel, next on now. what's more beautiful than a covergirl? two covergirls! that's right, get two miracles in one product. covergirl makeup, and olay advanced hydrating serum. it's tone rehab 2-in-1 foundation.
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in an important reminder that the u.s. is still fighting the terrorists that killed nearly 3,000 people on september 11th officials confirm al qaeda's number two died yesterday in a missile attack in eastern yemen. but in a sign of times progress and waning national attention, al shirry's death has not generated major news headlines. the ongoing war in afghanistan where 88,000 troops are still fighting did not warrant a mention from the republican candidate for president mitt romney as he accepted his party's nomination last month. 11 years later the battle against terror continues, but it appears to be little more than an afterthought in the nation's collective conscience. joining the panel now is hina shamsi director of the aclu's national security project. hina, as always good to see you, especially on a day like today where we assess where we are as a nation vis-a-vis the war on terror, the obama administration
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has taken aggressive steps including drone strikes and so forth to combat terrorism and yet there's very little debate about the civil liberties aspect to all of this. from the aclu's perspective here, how do you grade the administration thus far? >> well, alex, of course we start with the aclu by joining all americans today in remembering the unspeakable losses of 11 years ago, and as we reflect back on the lost turbulent decade i think we have to acknowledge and grapple with the fact that the post-9/11 era was a path that we took -- we took a wrong turn in this path. we turned to policies of torture and now targeted killing of guantanamo and military commissions, of warrantless government spying and religious and racial profiling, and those policies and programs not only define the post-9/11 era, but they are not who we are, nor are they who we want to be. and in -- we're at another pivotal point now in an election year, marked by hyper
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partisanship, but i think what we also have to recognize and acknowledge is that the way forward, relies not on a false zero sum game between security and liberty, but on a recognition that the source of our strength and our security lies in our constitution and/or commitment to constitutional values and rule of law. >> all of those incredibly important points. we've stalked about why -- talked about why on this show there isn't more debate or push back from the left on this, traditionally the party of opposing encroachment on civil liberties and i guess i wonder why isn't there more debate? we have statistics here. we know a detainee in gitmo was found dead yesterday after a prolonged hunger strike. the prison remains open. a lot of folks say that's congress's fault. the president can't be blamed for that. look at the increase in drone strikes. the new america foundation list u.s. drone strikes in pakistan from 2004 to 2007, there were ten.
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in 2010 alone, 122. these are aggressive counter terrorism strikes and yet there is not much debate, especially in the progressive wing of the democratic party. >> i think that's right. there are voices on the left airing all of the concerns you put out there but overshadowed on the left and in the democratic party who have lined up behind barack obama and as obama has accelerated drones, for instance, in his presidency a lot of the democrats who expressed concerns about these policies when president bush was engaging in them were really coming at it from more of a partisan place. this whiz the poll -- push the policy of the other side and something to rail against. a lot of these same democrats, they really like the idea that they get now politically to throw national security back in the face of republicans because what was the refrain for years about bush, even hearing it today about bush's defenders today, he kept us safe. democrats like to throw that at republicans. they don't care about the details, many of them at least. >> and frank and jonathan, i mean, to that point exactly, a
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"washington post"/abc news poll asks americans which candidate do you trust to do a better chance to handle terrorism, president obama beating mitt romney by 11 points. in terms of the long linage of democrats and democratic policies and priorities and positions, a feather in their cap i would assume. >> right. as steve was saying during the break or maybe it was before the show, that, you know, the democratic party today is like -- it's sort of a mirror image you said of 2004. a lot of that has to do with the killing of osama bin laden, that is a huge feather in the president's cap. any president who, you know, was able to get osama bin laden, would get a bump up like that. but to i guess this is not a push back on what's been said, but at -- where's the balance between people wanting to be safe and maintaining the liberties that we i guess used to enjoy. i mean, i find myself struggling
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with -- i mean i hear everything that you're saying, and i get it, i get it here, but if i have to choose between being blown up in an airplane and getting from point a to point b, i'm going to err on getting from point a to point b. >> and i think the response to that is that there are certainly policies and programs that are lawful, constitutional and effective, but ones that are based on an acceptance of the threat of terrorism, which has been with us in various forms in our history and will continue to be, as being an exo sten shall threat that requires us to jettison the very values that our nation has fought for for 200 years is not just nufl unlawful, it is ineffective. with drone strikes, they have -- they're deeply unpopular in nations that we seek to make allies with. they are leading to animosity
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against the united states and there have been killings of innocent bystanders that call into question whether or not america has been applying the law that it helped write in the years after world war ii. >> you know, the thing that i think, especially as democrats wave the flag of or stand under the banner of national security, they forget that executive privilege and executive power are rarely reskinneded. once you've got there it's hard to get it back. so, you know, there will be other presidents and they will have these powers too. that said, it is remarkable how aggressive this administration has been in prosecuting some of these suspects and some folks who are just, you know, in prison, it's worth pointing out that a federal court -- federal court judge last week rejected rules imposed by the obama administration that would have limitsed access to lawyers for prisoners who were not fighting detention trying to ensure they didn't access to counsel in gitmo unless fighting their
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detention. slapped down by a new york federal court judge. the administration is pushing the enlel voep as far as it can go on a lot of these issues. >> that's right. i think that is what is really dangerous in terms of our long-term commitment, both to values and to security, which is the obama administration has been entrenching some of the worst aspects of bush administration policies. let me acknowledge president obama has done some things right. rejected the use of torture, enhanced interrogation techniques and rightly so. targeted killing, impunity for torture, all mean that we are continuing down a path that is likely to jeopardize not only our value but our long-term national security because those who may trust president obama now, must ask themselves will they trust the next president, president romney, with those powers. >> he's not going to be president for ever. >> thank you to hina shamsi of the aclu. both the obama and romney teams have suspended their ads today.
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yesterday was a different story. governor romney used a speech to criticize president obama's economic plans. >> he went out with his complain slogan. you know what he says, forward, forward is his campaign slogan. i think forewarned is a better term. we know what would happen if he were re-elected. we would see more years of high unemployment. >> but well romney blasts the president on health care and food stamps the governor remains vague about his own proposals. team romney's attempts to run out the clock ahead on "now." i i had pain in my abdomen...g. it just wouldn't go away. i was spotting, but i had already gone through menopause. these symptoms may be nothing... but they could be early warning signs of a gynecologic cancer, such as cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer. feeling bloated for no reason.
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coming up, republican senate candidate todd akin continues to stay in it to win despite his infamous remarks about legitimate rape and despite pleas from most of his own party. sound familiar?
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>> one of the things i've realized through the years, i may not be the favorite candidate of some people within the republican establishment, but the voters made a decision and this is an election. it's not a selection. >> we will ask akin campaign adviser rick tyler's about the congressman's resolve and what it means for the gop's senate hopes. that's ahead. energy bill down to size? or get the yard ready for cool weather? the answer? a lot less. the great american fix-up is going on now... ...with new projects every week and big savings every day.
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on future policies begin to agitate conservatives. romney said there are a number of things he likes on health care reform but refuses to define what he would replace that with prompting "the wall street journal" to write -- this morning, our very own joe scarborough excore rated his own party. >> why is it that republicans as a party is getting more conservative than ever, have selected a guy that has decided as a "wall street journal" editorial page says, i'm not going to tell anybody what i'm going to do if i'm president. >> and conservative talk show host laura engram minced no words. if you can't beat barack obama with this record, then shut down the party. shut it down. start new, with new people, because this is a give me me election or should be. >> democrats unsurprisingly are
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seizing on the romney ticket's lack of specifics. >> romney's been asked, ryan's been asked, what loopholes do you want to close. they will not say. it's part of their fictitious math because, see, when they start talking about how fast they run a marathon, or holes they want to plug, they have to actually give facts. they refuse to do that. >> in an attempt to decipher what exactly is in mitt romney's tax plan, citizens for tax justice calculates that even if every loophole was closed under the romney/ryan plan, millionaires would still get a quarter million dollar tax break. and for team romney, no discussion of the ghosts of taxes future is possible without dredging up the ghost of tax's past. while the campaign maintains it will release romney's second year of tax returns by mid october the calls for additional years aren't likely to fade confirming the suspicion, the
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secret service is investigating an anonymous ransom letter sent to romney's tax team at price waterhouse coopers. the letter claims that romney's tax returns will be released unless a payment of $1 million is made by september 28th. also jumping in the tax frenzy, larry flynt, offering $1 million to publish romney's tax returns in hustler magazine because, hey, why not. frank bruni. >> you can't make this stuff up. >> you can't. an ad, he's taken out an snead who knew taxes could be sexy, taxes and hustler. >> only mitt romney's obfuscation could lead to that. it is the tax stance is tricky. it's tricky for anybody, right? it's tricky to explain to elouis date your policy in an election year. he has gone so far in terms of the obfuscation, they don't want to talk about anything at all relatesd to taxes because it's a
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problem for the campaign. >> they don't want to be specific because as soon as you get specific, about what he would do with loopholes and he hasn't said, as soon as you give specifics you give ammunition. what i find so fascinating about this, it's the way you play the game if you're protecting your lead. and he doesn't have a lead. i actually think that he could really change the dynamic of this campaign if he said, i'm going to be the candidate who's more specific because there is a window of opportunity. if you listen to obama's speech, at his convention, it was wildly inspecific. it only doesn't show that way in comparison to the vagueness on the op sid of the aisle. >> makes president obama looks like he has a power-point plan for the economy. >> what if romney said we're going to seize his opening and be bold and specific. >> but the math fundamentally is not really on romney's side because he's making all these assertions we're going to lower the rates for top income earners but taxes on the middle class aren't going to be raised and no deficit. i want to read this from michael gerson in "the washington post"
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with less than two months until the election romney is left with dwindling opportunities to reshape the dynamic of the race. this places extraordinary pressure on him in the presidential debates. early voting has started in some states. >> it has. look in the debates the president has put forward his jobs plan, put forward ideas. when you're at the table and the president is able to speak in some degree of specifics and mitt romney kind of blusers with his rhetoric, that's not going to, you know, stand up, stand the test. one of the things i find so surprising, you know, mitt romney came into this race, what was one of his fundamental character flaws, people don't trust him. his own base didn't trust him. you reinforce that every single time when you say we can't release our tax records because if we you'll just attack us. okay. clearly there's something you're hiding. the fact that he fundamentally didn't understand that flaw was going to be dog him throughout the whole campaign and that all -- everything he's doing is only reinforcing it not making people feel better. their convention was an attempt to try to make his own base feel
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a little bit better and that's not working. >> and also, don't pick the dude that's been the architect of the republican budget plan if you don't want to get into specifics. it's like -- and we now are hearing that romney chose him much more because he has an affinity for paul ryan less than it was line in the sand. >> that's whatter ers ggurson g it wasn't so much picking paul ryan because he's the architect of the path to prosperity and road map to america's future. he picked paul ryan because well, he likes paul ryan. >> right. >> and, you know, he's not going to talk specifics. paul ryan can't talk specifics because as the little graphic shows he's got a whole book of them there. they don't want to talk about it because they're not popular. it would be great if he got specific but once he got specific those numbers the balance would go -- >> not even about popularity. the numbers don't add up. i'll call everyone's attention to ezra klein, wonking out in
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the best way possible went through mitt romney's guy's analysis of how to make this all work and the sort of take away i got was the only way you make romney's plan work it might be mathematically possible to make romney's plan work by sharply increasing taxes on people making between 1 thunz $00 to $200,000 so you can cut them on very rich taxpayers. there are families making $100,000 with four, three, two kids that are decidedly middle class, going to pay more taxes so the top earners can get a 20% cut on top of the bush tax cuts. >> here's the jam that romney is quickly getting into. they were planning to be the nonspecific candidate. the goal of the romney campaign was to be the generic candidate and you would have all this economically anxious swing voters who wants to vote obama out, go with romney he hasn't offended us with anything. he needs the republican party to cooperate with him. the republican party will cooperate as long as they think they're going to win. the conventional wisdom is hardening this week romney is behind this race.
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with every poll that comes out from this point forward that shows obama ahead, two, three, four, five, six points the pressure will grow from the republican party, the panic will grow and you're starting to see it now. george will, trent lott, "the wall street journal" editorial page saying you need to get specific and spell out details. when that noise starts coming within a candidate's party it's more credible to the average swing voter than scrutiny from the media because it sounds like that's what breaks through the noise. romney may be pressured by his own party which thinks he's not being specific. >> laura engram saying shut the party down if we can't win this. >> when you are the challenger you have the higher burden of proof period. part of the reason bill clinton was able to win in addition to the ross perot piece, here's my vision and that way people look at that and say that i can see myself in. that makes sense to me. people under economic duress now, when you say to them, no, just trust me, just trust me, it's going to be fine. >> when trust is a big issue that you have, that's the
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dirt -- >> you're saying with this guy i know what my taxes are. with you, i don't even know what's going to happen. that's not going to fly for people. >> it's amazing, all people that we quoted here, were republicans or conservatives or conservative outlets, the ones yelling at mitt romney. the question is, can he make a pivot in the time that he's been allotted? he is going to have to -- >> not a lot of time left. >> spent a lot of time being the warshack candidate. he wasn't that worried about the flip flop image because in that flip flop image people could decide whoever they wanted to decide he was. almost an advantage to that. even the obama administration or the obama campaign said that's not a great thing to go after because it reinforces the idea he's malleable and can be whom ever you want him to be. but now that warshack candidate is coming back to haunt him. >> i would like to see mitt romney do a recordshack ink block psychological profile. >> he what does he think of the ink blots. that's another conversation for another time.
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after the break survival of the fittest. is the gop losing the bid to take control of the upper chamber this november. we will discuss next. hi, i'm phil mickelson. i've been fortunate to win on golf's biggest stages. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit, even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept, suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b,
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block psychological profile. it has been 23 days since todd akin first gifted the world with his own version of reproductive science and made the remarkably and totally unfounded statement that, quote, legitimate rape doesn't cause pregnancy. >> from what i understand from doctors, that's really rare. if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> despite pleas from nearly every single republican in the country to please, no, really, please, crop out of the missouri senate race todd akin plans to do his own thing. last night, he told reporters that he's, quote, totally in. before absconding from capitol
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hill and his late '90s ford explorer. disgruntled republicans cannot be happy. his refusal to drop out is causing problems for the gop's bid for four seats to take back the senate. republicans are reportedly having trouble flipping seats in north dakota, montana, new mexico and hawaii. referring to the 2010 campaigns gop pollster wit ayers told politico quote -- >> former newt gingrich adviser rick tyler joined the campaign of embattled candidate todd akin and joins us now from st. louis. hello to you, rick. >> alex, how are you? >> i'm gad. you know, rick, we've had you on this program before when you were working with team gingrich and talked about being a representative of the underdog. it seems that you've gone even one step further with congressman akin in so far as he's not just the underdog,
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he -- in the eyes of many people in the gop, is a villen to his own party. why did you choose todd akin? >> you know me, alex, i'm going wherever the fight is. if that puts me on the other end of the establishment i think that's probably why you like me. here i am fighting the establishment, fighting the democrats, and we're going to win this thing. >> what do you make of the claims that todd akin may cost republicans control of the senate? >> it's bologna. if the republicans can't articulate a message on how to beat a barack obama and beat a democratic congress and, you know, i listen to the flat earth economics and -- in the late -- in the late -- in the last segment, but the way to get the economy going is to get 23 million people back working again and paying taxes. that's how you're going end to up balancing the budget and what todd has been talking about. the republicans, the senate in particular, i don't know why the nrsc, but have this ability year
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after year to say their senate candidates don't say anything significant, don't talk about issues, you talked about that in terms of romney. that will win if we can just -- the economy keeps tanking south and we have no real message. i just don't think that's true. you have to vote an articulate message, give a vision as i heard in the last segment about what this is about, putting people back to work, the economy back to work, will balance the budget far more than any specific static plans of raising taxes, cutting spending. all that is dynamic and depends on the economy and how much revenue is coming into the government. >> i do want to focus, though, on the party dynamics here. >> sure. >> i won't presume anything, but i get the sense you are a man of conservative stripe and we've been talking about infighting vis-a-vis the romney candidacy, romney nomination, the fact that republicans are unhappy with where he's gone or hasn't gone which is probably more to the point. todd akin certainly has not done anything to unite the party.
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do you think after this is all said and done, if mitt romney loses this election, and todd se will be a circling of the wagons and republicans will have a long session on the proverbial psychiatrist couch to figure out what they are doing. >> if barack obama wins re-election with 8.3% and the real number closer to 11% if you count the people that left the market and we lose control of the senate, i think this republican party will have to completely utterly and totally revamp its thinking, its strategy, what it stands for, how it trends, what it speaks about, how it recruits and the total abandonment or the professionalization of the party and the abandonment of the grass roots. i think we lose races now because we don't know how to articulate conservative issues, don't know how to talk about the economy. we can win on the environment, on health care, we can win on education, but few of our guys, some do, few know how to make the win, make the winning
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issues. oh, no, education, that's a democratic issue. health care we can't talk about that. environment they own that issue. we should dominate those issues and if we knew how to talk about them we would win all day every day. yes, if we lose the race we only have ourselves to blame and a revolution in the republican party. >> steve core knack be ki, let's talk a little bit about the senate races. folks are saying this is a reduction of 2010 when you had i'll kay whack ka doodle candidates and the republicans had a chance of gaining the seats and had candidates that were -- the voters deemed unfit for a senate seat. those memories are haunting them in the todd akin race? >> absolutely. it's interesting to hear rick try to blame it more on, you know, the failure of national republicans maybe to beat obama but that not with standing this is a race republicans should have won and everybody was pencilling in until about a month ago. >> in fair ms. still may win.
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>> the best parallel is the sharron engle harry reid race in 2010. if you look at his poll numbers and standings at the start of the year, should never won re-election. he got the one opponent in the entire state of nevada he was capable of beating, even then a four or five point race. claire mccaskill looked gone until a month ago, she has drawn the one opponent she could beat. >> part of the challenge that the republican party has is this tea party movement, far right, movement to the far right, it has undermined their party fundamentally. not the national republicans. it's that you cannot win in a state wide election with ideas that say, you know, student loans is like stage three cancer. you can't win by saying -- talking about legitimate rape and women having mystical powers. >> women do have mystical powers. >> i wasn't going to tell anybody. >> but some of -- and the problem that i think akin brings to the party is he kind of like opened the door to a lot of
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other candidates like paul ryan who's, you know, their vp nominee who cosponsored that legislation and to many other candidates who have similarly said, lots of crazy things that came in 2010. remember 2010 midterm election, smaller percentage of the electorate voting. this time because it's a presidential year you have more people voting and if you're running state wide that's more people who are not necessarily going to go along with those far right wing ideas. it's much easier to win in gerrymandered congressional district than statewide. >> rick, in the days following the legitimate rape comments todd akin took out an ad trying to apologize for them. i wonder if he regrets opening the pan dor's box which is the gop's position on women's health care and reproductive rights? >> no. i don't think -- in terms of pro life todd akin is not going to back down. he is pro life. unapologetically pro life. >> not necessarily the abortion question, but the question of forcible rape and what is
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legitimate rape. >> al leshgs, he apologized for that. it was nonsensical. i condemned it, everybody condemned it in the republican party. could they get beyond it and seemed like they couldn't. the senate -- the senate torl committee will lose the senate because they can't defend their positions. it won't be because of todd akin. by the way, if you look at chair mccaskill who voted for obama care, very unpopular in this state, voted for every tax increase, debt limit increase to the tune of $6.9 trillion in the last six years, todd voted against every debt limit increase since 2009, against medicare part d, voted against no child left behind which was actually no child gets ahead, he voted against tax cuts, he has an "a" with the nra and 100% with pro life, it couldn't be more dramatic. you can say from your perspective, karen, that this is an extreme candidate but i think claire mccaskill, $6.9 trillion
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worth of debt, supporting abortion in most extreme circumstances puts her in the extreme category and i think most missourians who want an election not a selection by the establishment, will agree with todd akin not mccaskill. >> rick tyler, todd akin is stranger to extremities of any sort. >> great to see you, alex. >> great to see you. >> i missed you. >> i missed you too, rick. we'll see you where the fight is. >> thanks for having me on. >> continuing coverage of the anniversary of 9/11. we will return after the break. ♪ forz(power!) andiamo! andiamo! (let's go! let's go!) avanti! avanti! (keep going! keep going!) hahaha...hahahaha! you know ronny, folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to geico sure are happy. and how happy are they jimmy?
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thanks again to frank, karen, jonathan and steve. and don't forget to catch steve today and every week day on "the cycle" here on msnbc at 3:00 p.m. eastern. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. this country was built by working people.
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